expected to accelerate product development for both companies.
REDMOND, Wash. and SEOUL, South Korea, April 19 /-/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today announced that the companies entered into a broad patent cross-licensing agreement. Samsung Electronics is the largest publisher of U.S. patents in 2006 and owner of one of the largest U.S. patent portfolios. The companies expect the agreement to accelerate their respective product development efforts. Microsoft has actively sought patent agreements with a range of companies to build bridges with an array of consumer electronics, telecommunications, computer hardware, and Linux and UNIX platform providers.
Through the agreement, Samsung will obtain access to Microsoft(R) patents that may be practiced in a range of Samsung's existing and future product lines, such as computer products, set-top boxes, digital media players, camcorders, televisions, printers and home appliances. In these product lines, Samsung and its distributors and customers may utilize Microsoft's patents in Samsung's products with proprietary software, and Samsung will also obtain coverage from Microsoft for its customers' use of certain Linux-based products.
Likewise, Microsoft will gain access to Samsung's large patent portfolio relating to digital media and computer-related inventions for its existing and future products. The specific financial terms of the agreement are confidential, but both parties will receive monetary payments compensating them for the value of their portfolios.
"Offering customers elegant, highly desirable products requires advanced scientific research and design inspiration," said Shung Hyun (Peter) Cho, senior vice president of the Digital Media R&D Center at Samsung Electronics. "Patent collaboration agreements like this expand access to ideas and lead to even more desirable products for our customers."
"We are always looking for new opportunities to work collaboratively within the industry, and Samsung was a natural fit, particularly because of its leadership in the rapidly changing world of digital media technologies," said Horacio Gutierrez, vice president of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. "Companies that collaborate are in the best position to deliver the products and service that their customers demand."
Today's announcement is the latest in a growing set of agreements that help build bridges across a range of computer hardware, software and telecommunications products from the world's leading companies. In the past 12 months, Microsoft has announced similar agreements with companies such as Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd., NEC, Nortel, Novell Inc. and Seiko Epson Corp.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2006 parent company sales of US$63.4 billion and net income of US$8.5 billion. Employing approximately 138,000 people in 124 offices in 56 countries, the company consists of five main business units: Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business, Telecommunication Network Business, and Digital Appliance Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information please visit http://www.samsung.com.
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